Chapter 3 - To Be the Messenger

For continuity's sake, I am paraphrasing/using parts of the story as told in the quest chain. As ever World of Warcraft, it's quests, world, and it's characters are the property of Blizzard Entertainment. Shadowbunny and Carmien are based on player created characters in the game.

Stormwind City, Azeroth

As they summoned their mounts to make the dash for the Keep, Shadowbunny glanced at Carmien, seeing the steely resolve in his face she knew her friend would be fine. His duty would carry him through this day and those to come. They dashed through the canals of Stormwind with the heavy news.

As the Keep loomed in front of them, she dismounted. "Guard, Please let King Wrynn know that Knight-Lieutenant Shadowbunny and Paladin Carmien bring word from the Wrathgate."

The King's Guard saluted smartly, "Yes, Lieutenant!" He turned,quickly delivered the message, and was back, "The King wishes an audience with you right away."

The guard led them up the well-known hallway to the throne room. As they approached the throne, Shadowbunny saw that Lady Jaina Proudmoore was seated next to Varian. "May I present Knight-Lieutenant Shadowbunny and Paladin Carmien, Your Majesty!" announced the major-domo.

Shadowbunny and Carmien bowed in unison, "Your Majesty, My Lady."

As Carmien gave her a slight glance, Shadowbunny nodded. He began by approaching the throne and handing the massive shield to the King. "Your Majesty, I regret to inform you that Champion of the Alliance, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon was slain in the Battle at Angrathar this morning." Carmien took a deep breath and recounted in great detail and with accuracy the events as they had unfolded as well as the dragon queen's message.

Shadowbunny would never forget the look in the King's eyes as her friend delivered the message of his brother's death. For Bolvar had been the King's brother in all but name. Bolvar had protected his kingdom, protected his legacy, protected his son during the years of the King's absence. Lady Jaina's glance caught hers for a moment and she could see the same sorrow and empathy etched in the great mage's face.

The King brushed away a tear, nodded, and looked up from the shield. "The Dragon Queen is right, Carmien and Shadowbunny, I will be the force that rises from the ashes of our fallen and I will purge the evil of the Horde from this world. The deaths of our brothers and sisters will not have been in vain"

It took all the effort of her training for Shadowbunny to not show the surprise and alarm she felt to cross her features. She searched her mind for a way to help diffuse the King's thinking. The Horde had lost, too, in this battle. She shivered internally as she thought of Frostmourne taking the soul of Saurfang the Younger. However, before she could gather her wits to speak Jaina did.

"Varian, no. This must have been some kind of deception. I know the Warchief from our battle against Archimonde. He would not have allowed this to happen after giving his oath of his forces' assistance to Bolvar at the Wrathgate." Jaina took a deep breath, "I mourn Bolvar as well. He was a great, good man, but we cannot risk war with the Horde while we are facing Arth..the Lich King."

"I ask Your Majesty's permission to take a diplomatic party to Orgrimmar. Please at least allow me to gather their explanation before all out war is declared by the Alliance." She finished.

Varian took a deep breath. "Very well, Jaina. We will see what they have to say for themselves. Shadowbunny and Carmien, please accompany Lady Proudmoore to Ogrimmar. I will also send two of my honor guard with you."

Jaina inclined her head slightly, "Thank you, Your Majesty. Come everyone, stand close and I will do the teleport."

Chapter 4 - From within, it devours

Thrall's Throne Room, Ogrimmar, Kalimdor

With an audible pop, the Alliance diplomacy party arrived in Thrall's throne room. As the members of the Horde gave gasps of surprise, the Elite guards moved to engage and destroy the supposed invaders. Thrall raised his voice with an order, "Stop."

Shadowbunny was hard pressed to not move against the dark lady, Sylvannas Windrunner, leader of the Forsaken. However, she remembered Jaina's warning as the party left Stormwind to do nothing that would incite the Horde to action. She pressed her palms against her leggings to keep them off her dagger hilts.

She listened in shock as the Warchief and Sylvannas outlined the events that had led to the atrocity she had viewed at the Wrathgate. "The Horde have lost control of the Undercity, by the gods," she thought.

Shadowbunny could tell that Carmien was as tense as she in the presence of so many of their tenuous allies. The agreement to lay aside their differences was necessary to success in Northrend. She knew that, but it was hard as a veteran of so many Warsong Gulch, Alterac, and Arathi battles to be diplomatic. Although she could admit that the fault for the battles lay on both sides.

She forced her attention back to the exchange between Thrall and Jaina as the Warchief promised to retake the lost Horde stronghold, and make the traitors pay for their crimes against the Alliance and the Horde forces.

Thrall then looked directly at Shadowbunny, "You were at the Wrathgate today?"

"Yes, Warchief." She answered with pride and with a set to her jaw.

He couldn't stop a chuckle at the serious look, "Such pride. It is an honor to meet you. Please know, gnome, that I have no wish for war with your people. I hope we meet again as Allies."

"Warchief?" Shadowbunny had made a decision, although she noted Jaina's worried glance at her, "Saurfang the younger was a noble fighter. He died a good death, as a warrior, as a leader. Have the Spirits bless his memory." And she bowed to the Horde leader. She had omitted the destruction of his soul by Frostmourne. She hoped the Spirits could intervene on his behalf, and she turned before anyone could see the wetness that suddenly affected her eyes.

Jaina gave her a look of sympathy, and then said to Thrall, "We return to the King. I, too, hope we meet again as Allies." She threw up the portal to Stormwind and motioned for Shadowbunny, Carmien, and the guards to go through.